I gave up one-marque car events many years ago. For me, the enjoyment of motoring is in the diversity of machinery; the cool and the peculiar, the quick and the quirky – that’s what gets me out of bed on a Sunday morning for a meet. I tend to find that the owners are, then, similarly interesting. So to attend the inaugural Distinguished Gentleman’s Drive event was quite entertaining, as the entry criteria was not just a simple “pre-‘80s type cars” but also that you must “drive dapper”. To put attire before tyres intrigued me. I had offered to organise the Worcester leg of this global event in aid of Men’s health charities and it was a great opportunity to host something special at the Morgan Motor Company.

A little bit about the event; The DGD was held in countries from Algeria to Wales, and each country had many cities hosing an event where looking stylish and driving something retro was essential. From there, entrants raised sponsorship money which goes to charities associated with the Movember movement. My ‘tache (a leftover from the Goodwood Revival) had a trim and wax, and my ’72 Fiat 500 had a scratchy sponge thrown at it. I was also fortunate enough to be given use of a new Morgan Plus Four; a car in precisely the style the organisers had in mind. I went for an Italian, silk-lined jacket, with tan slacks, some brogue boots and a dark blue tie. I was aiming for an off-duty Roger Moore look. I didn’t get the trophy for best-dressed – even though my girlfriend chose the eventual winner. Well done to Alistair, if you’re reading this. Stephen Venn won the cup for most funds raised (over £16k was raised on the day in the U.K.) and his red MG is a cracker. Best car was awarded to Bruce in a minty Mercedes-Benz SL Pagoda but, frankly, the Ruf Porsche, perfect Skoda Estelle 130 and Citroen Dyane could also just as easily have won. The diversity of cars attending was fantastic, the only duplicate was two early 911s, beautiful bookends they were, too.

The drive part of the event saw a c.50 mile loop from the hills of Worcestershire, where the return point (and photo stop) was Vowchurch in the Golden Valley – until recently home of the longest-operating petrol station in the UK with over 100 years continuous service. Ironic, on a day when fuel shortages meant that many DGD drivers could not attend. The Plus Four was the perfect drive on the day – on Morgans new CX chassis it is supple, quick and engaging. This event is more than just ‘raising awareness’ (an over-used phrase, which often seems to describe a lack of actual action) – it got like-minded people enjoying something fun for a good cause. Dressing sharp and driving such individualist cars is good for the soul. Next year’s event is on Sept 25th 2022 – we hope to see you there!

Thanks to Jamil Jafri, Darryl Sleath and Reggie for the pictures. More info on there event online here – https://www.gentlemansdrive.com/

About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich's drivel regularly appears in Practical Performance Car and GT Porsche magazines. He has also written for Classic & Sportscar, MogMag, Classic Performance and Retro, Banzai, Evo, and Modern Mini. He also did a book no-one bought. His hungover fizzog also often appears on CBS’s Carfection channel enthusing about historic motoring. Le Mans winner Derek Bell once refused to get in Rich's Morgan Three Wheeler with him at the wheel. Currently amongst the detritus in his garage is a 1972 Fiat 500 Abarth, a fat BMW and a Lotus Elise. Previous machinery includes a Porsche 968, an Alfa GTV V6 and a dreadful Sinclair C5. He also owns a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike.

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